J Surg Educ 2013 Jan-Feb;70(1):55-8. Epub 2012 Nov 19.
Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
Background: We describe the development of a medical student surgical interest group, its initial evaluation, and future plans. The Surgical Students Society of Melbourne was formed in August 2008 by a group of senior medical students from the University of Melbourne. The Surgical Students Society of Melbourne seeks to provide additional surgical teaching and professional development for students interested in a career in surgery. It also aims to provide junior doctors with leadership and teaching opportunities to meet the requirements of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons for application to the Surgical Education and Training program. Its program also addresses contemporary workforce issues, such as women in surgery and rural surgery. The society runs a weekly teaching program during the semester and procedural and careers workshops throughout the year.
Methods: A survey of students attending the teaching program was conducted by means of written and online questionnaires.
Results: The results suggest that the society has been successful in augmenting surgical education and providing opportunities to improve procedural skills, but also highlighted areas of the program that may be improved, including aspects of surgical professional development and role modeling.
Conclusions: The Surgical Students Society initiative was generally very well received by students and shows great potential as a means for augmenting surgical education at the medical student level.